Monday, July 15, 2024

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. (Unsplash/Natasha Connell)

NATIONWIDE — Each year, Americans recognize November as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

When President Ronald Reagan designated it as such in 1983, there were less than 2 million people known to be suffering from disease. As of 2020, more than 8.5 million Americans are living Alzheimer’s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that effects memory, thinking and language skills, and the ability to carry out the simple tasks. It is the most common form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. While Dementia is commonly thought to be a disease, it is really just a term that is used to describe symptoms such as loss of memory, judgment and other intellectual functions. However, Alzheimer’s Disease can cause dementia. 

Scientists are still unsure of the exact causes of the disease, but advanced age and a person’s genetics are some of the well recognized risk factors.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (ALFA) says common symptoms include:

  • Memory loss, especially of recent events, names, places and other new information
  • Confusion about time and place
  • Struggling to complete familiar tasks such as brushing one’s teeth
  • Trouble finding appropriate words, for example in a sentence
  • Difficulties in judging situations
  • Changes in mood and personality

There is no known cure for the disease. Currently, the best medical science can offer is disease management in order to help patients and their caregivers improve quality of life.

Fore more information on the disease and how to find support for both patients and caregivers, go to the ALFA website.

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